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MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC V3 Review

ccokeman    -   July 22, 2009
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Conclusion:

When it comes time to spend your money on an upgrade, many people really want to feel they got their money's worth. With the N260GTX OC V3, MSI has hit a home run when it comes down to price as well as performance. Currently you find this card for 159 bucks online after a $30 rebate. A factory overclocked card with a massive heatpipe cooler that works for well under $200, is a heck of a deal. In fact I saw few reference cards far enough under the $159 mark to really pass up the value that the N260GTX OC V3 presents. As a factory overclocked card, the expectation is that it will out perform the reference versions - no surprises that it does this and does it well. In 34 out of 36 tests it performed better than the reference versions and in two the performance was even. When the card was overclocked even further, it started to play well above its price point. Speaking of overclocking, the N260GTX delivered an increase of 101MHz over the 'standard' 655MHz on the core, 104MHz on the shader clocks and 174MHz on the GDDR3 memory. All in all, pretty decent increases across the board.

Overclocking is not the only strong suite of the N260GTX OC V3. MSI has made cooling the card a priority. First you have the massive heatsink that uses 5, yes, 5 heatpipes to remove the heat generated by the GPU core. This it does very well. At the stock clocks and the fan speed controlled by the driver I saw 48 degrees Celsius under load. When overclocked and running the fan at 100%, the load temperature only reached 45 degrees Celsius. Just for kicks I ran Futuremarks stability test at 2560x1600 with 2x AA and only reached 62 degrees Celsius. The heatsink does its job very well. While the cooling solution works well, it does get a bit loud once you increase the fan speed beyond 70 to 75%. If you use headphones while gaming, this won't be an issue, but if not, the noise penalty is there. The only other downside to this card is the fact that the heat is exhausted back into the case. The potential to increase the rest of your system temps is there with a case that is not well ventilated.

The MSI N260GTX OC V3 is one of several cards in the OC lineup and falls just below the Lightning Black Edition that runs at the same clock speeds, but includes native HDMI connectivity, while the OC V3 needs to use an adapter for this connection. This means you have several different overclocked cards to choose from, but only the OC V3 and Lightning featuring the 5 heatpipe cooling solution. The OC V3 delivers excellent performance in both stock and overclocked trim for a price point that really can't be beaten by any GTX 260 with non-reference cooling right now.

 

Pros:

  • Factory overclocked
  • Excellent performance
  • Non-stock cooling
  • Very cool running
  • Price
  • Physx and Cuda capable
  • Tri SLI  ready
  • HDMI capable

 

Cons:

  • Fan loud at 100%

 

OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: Far Cry 2
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: BioShock
  9. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  10. Testing: Dead Space
  11. Testing: Fallout 3
  12. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  13. Testing: 3DMark 06
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Conclusion
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